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A Legacy of Excellence

hall of fame

Our next Hall of Fame is coming Spring 2024!

Deadline for Nominations Was

Sunday September 10, 2023

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We’re excited to announce that our 7th Hall of Fame ceremony will happen in April 2024, so stay tuned and we’ll announce our next Class early in the New Year 2024!

The deadline to nominate someone for this round passed on September 10, 2023, but we are always looking ahead for future events and so always accepting nominations of outstanding Faculty and Alumni to honor the best of the Sailor spirit. If you’ve nominated someone in the past, they are still on our list and continue to be under consideration.

How-to Nominate:


1) Explore those who have already been honored HERE

2) Read the nomination form and gather ALL the information needed

3) Fill in the form and submit (self-nominations are not accepted)

If you’ve nominated someone in the past, they are still on our list and continue to be under consideration. Any suggestions made after the deadline will be held for the next round. So get your Nominations in by Sunday September 10th to help this cherished traditions continue to thrive.

History of the Hall of Fame 

Our Hall of Fame tradition began in June 2014, when the Newport Harbor High School Alumni Association inducted our first Class of Alumni and Faculty. We have recognized award-winning athletes, brave military personnel, ground-breaking scientists, public servants, artists, writers and actors, as well as beloved teachers, coaches, and administrators—all individuals who reflect our alma mater’s most cherished values of good citizenship and service to others.


 We celebrated our 6th Hall of Fame class on the evening of Thursday October 13, 2022 with our Sailor family. Our honorees gathered in front of the Robert B. Wentz Theater at 6:30pm to kick off a meet-and-greet hour with family and friends. 

The ceremony commenced at 7:30pm with NHHS principal Dr. Sean Boulton, and Laura DeSoto (Class of 1976 and Alumni co-President) served as MC. Three past honorees Dr. Joe Corbo, Mary Lyons, and James “Walkie” Ray introduced our new Hall of Fame class. Each of our “great eight” who spoke offered inspiration about how to create a life of meaning through service to others. 

The Alumni inductees include:

John Altobelli Class of 1981, outstanding baseball coach

Paul Le Mat Class of 1963, Golden Globe winning actor

Debbe Pyle Magnusen Class of 1974, advocate for children

Raun Thorp Class of 1977, creative architect

David Ullman Class of 1964, champion sailor

Dr. John Vierling  Class of 1963, groundbreaking liver doctor


The honored Faculty are:


Bill Burge, Biology & Marine Science teacher

Joe Robinson, Humanities teacher in 7 decades


It was a wonderful evening, and if you missed it, you can WATCH the event or see PHOTOS here:

Each Hall of Fame ceremony has been unique, including a special moment our first year when Dr. Don Miyada, Class of 1942, returned to finally walk at graduation 72 years late. You won’t want to miss out, so make sure to sign up for our newsletter to be the first to hear about our next event! 

FEATURED Hall of Fame Moment 

Don Miyada.jpg

Dr. Don Miyada (Class of 1942) began at Newport Harbor High School in 1938, unaware that in the next few years, world events would keep him from his graduation day. In the spring of 1942, Don Miyada and his family were sent to the Poston War Relocation Center, a Japanese Internment camp in Arizona. He treasured the NHHS diploma he received at Poston by mail, because many of his peers from other schools were not given their diplomas; however, he missed the opportunity to celebrate this accomplishment. When the Seniors of the Class of 2014 learned of Dr. Miyada’s story, they were so moved they decided to invite him to be a part of their own ceremony, and so right a decades-old wrong.

2014 Inductees

1st Class Inductees

Albert Irwin

Albert Irwin, Class of 1937, legendary athlete, educator and coach, was the first four year, five sport letterman (basketball...

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George James

George James, renowned watercolor artist and Class of 1950, began his journey in art classes at NHHS...

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Greg and Dr. Barbara Smith MacGillivray, innovative filmmakers and stewards of the environment, started...

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Frank Marshall

Frank Marshall, Class of 1964, transformative power in the entertainment and sporting industries...

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Misty May-Treanor

Misty May-Treanor, the greatest athlete in the history of beach volleyball, established her initial determination...

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Dr. Miyada

Dr. Don Miyada, Class of 1942, accomplished professor and resilient patriot, arrived at NHHS in 1938, unaware...

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Jim Newkirk

Jim Newkirk, outstanding athlete, philanthropist, and educator, began his life of community service at NHHS...

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James Seely

James Seely, Rear Admiral US Navy, dauntless pilot and patriot, graduated from NHHS in 1950, as varsity in...

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Anthony Zerbe

Anthony Zerbe, star of stage and screen, graduated from NHHS in 1954, and has spent more than fifty years passionately...

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George Yardley

George Yardley, basketball legend, attended NHHS in the 1940s, where he dribbled his way across the courts that now...

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Sidney Harold Davidson

Sidney Harold Davidson laid NHHS’s foundation of excellence as the school’s first principal. A graduate...

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Webster J. Jones

Web Jones, outstanding educator and a founding father of NHHS’ Heritage Hall, was a leader on campus for...

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Ralph King Reed

Ralph King Reed, revered coach and athletic director, started teaching at NHHS in 1930, as one of the first...

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Ruth Stoever Fleming

Ruth Stoever Fleming was NHHS’s first librarian in 1938, and worked tirelessly to bring quality visual art to...

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Robert B. Wentz

Robert B. Wentz began his monumental career as a drama teacher at NHHS in 1947, after serving in the US Army as...

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2nd Class

2nd Class Inductees

Maria Arena Bell

Maria Arena Bell, Class of 1981, writer, producer, community leader, began her path to success at NHHS. She wrote for the...


Dr. Joseph C. Corbo

Dr. Joseph C. Corbo, Class of 1986, ground-breaking scientist and linguist, sparked his sense of discovery at NHHS. He threw...


David Emmes

David Emmes, Class of 1957, actor, director, founder, discovered his love of theatre at NHHS in the Senior play. He...


A.G. Kawamura

A.G. Kawamura, Class of 1974, global agricultural leader, planted the seeds of his future service by acting as Junior...

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Aaron Peirsol

Aaron Peirsol, Class of 2002, international swimming champion, set NHHS and international records. He...


James “Walkie” Ray

James “Walkie” Ray, Class of 1963, builder, philanthropist, community visionary, began the foundation for his...


Bob Rogers

Bob Rogers, Class of 1968, filmmaker, inventor, master story-teller, launched his career at NHHS by co-writing and...


Gregg Schwenk

Gregg Schwenk, Class of 1986, entrepreneur, film aficionado, educator, began leading at NHHS as class President...


Steve Timmons

Steve Timmons, Class of 1977, three-time Olympic medalist in Volleyball, inspired coaches and peers on the NHHS...


Irene Worth

Irene Worth, Class of 1933, actress of stage, screen, and radio, arrived at NHHS as Harriet Abrams. She delighted...


Bill Barnett

Bill Barnett, revered Water Polo coach, began his unprecedented 49 years at NHHS in 1966. At Fullerton College and...


B. Roscine Feeley

B. Roscine Feeley, inspiring English teacher and art lover, arrived at NHHS in the early 1940s. She grew up in...


Fabian Giroux

Fabian Giroux, life-changing History teacher and consummate intellectual, joined NHHS in 1961. A Canadian immigrant...


Dennis O’Hern

Dennis O’Hern, stimulating teacher and globe-trekker, arrived at NHHS in 1965, after earning degrees at OCC and...


Donald J. Ulander

Donald J. Ulander, patriot and educational pioneer, served our country in the US Marine Corps from 1946-55. In China...


3rd Class Inductees

3rd Class

Stuart Cooper

Stuart Cooper, Class of 1960, thought-provoking actor and director, discovered a lifetime of artistic inspiration in...


E. Gene Crain

E. Gene Crain, Class of 1951, world-class art collector and philanthropist, excelled on the NHHS Baseball team as...

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Marshall “Duffy” Duffield

Marshall “Duffy” Duffield, Class of 1970, inventive nautical engineer, made a difference on the NHHS Football...

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David A. Grant

David A. Grant, Class of 1956, intrepid educator and sailor, set his course for success from NHHS where he started...

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Dr. Mahlon DeLong

Dr. Mahlon DeLong, Class of 1956, ground-breaking neurologist, led at NHHS as Student Body...


Greg Laurie

Greg Laurie, Class of 1971, inspirational pastor, transferred to NHHS, where he found the faith he would dedicate his...


Ted McGinley

Ted McGinley, Class of 1976, dedicated and charismatic actor, brightened the Water Polo team at NHHS as an All-American...

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Roger Neth

Roger Neth, Class of 1944, protector of the people, made an impact at NHHS on the 1942 Sunset League Champion...


Dr. Sandi Smith

Dr. Sandi Smith, Class of 1965, cutting-edge communications researcher, enjoyed her time at NHHS as Freshman...


Justice David Thompson

Justice David Thompson, Class of 1974, thoughtful community advocate, began his search for his life’s work at...


Ken Bauermeister

Ken Bauermeister, standard-setting Social Studies teacher, grew up in Iowa playing sports. After serving in the...


Ellen Caricof

Ellen Caricof, skilled P.E. instructor, arrived at NHHS in 1950, after studying at UCLA. She spent the next 38 years...


Marie Hiebsch

Marie Hiebsch, founding Music teacher, played the violin with the Hollywood Symphony Orchestra, and earned...


Robert M. House

Robert M. House, adventurous environmental educator, studied at Pepperdine and CSULB, and in 1955 began a teaching...


Jerry Tagami

Jerry Tagami, creative English teacher, was born in the Gila River Japanese War Relocation Center where his family...


4th Class Inductees

4th Class

America Arias

America Arias, Class of 2005, forward-thinking journalist, began reaching for future success at NHHS as a...

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Dr. Ingrid Buhler Pisetsky

Dr. Ingrid Buhler Pisetsky, Class of 1963, compassionate psychiatrist, flourished at NHHS in the Larkettes choir...


Tris Imboden

Tris Imboden, Class of 1969, expert musician, inherited a love of music from his parents and got his start in local surf bands...


Jerome Keithley

erome Keithley, Class of 1934, dedicated public servant, walked through the doors on NHHS’s opening day. He was...

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Don Cantrell

Don Cantrell, Class of 1950, insightful writer and historian, distinguished himself on the NHHS Football field as...


Chief Tom Gazsi

Chief Tom Gazsi, Class of 1979, law enforcement leader, continued his education at OCC and USC. While still in...


April Ross

April Ross, Class of 2000, exceptional Volleyball champion, dominated NHHS athletics in three sports, and earned the...


Dr. John Shirley

Dr. John Shirley, Class of 1942, heroic community leader, was motivated by his NHHS agriculture teacher to...

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Roderick MacMillian

Roderick MacMillian, Class of 1945, devoted youth advocate, excelled at sports at NHHS and was Editor of The Beacon...

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Dr. Tod White

Dr. Tod White, Class of 1955, multi-talented philanthropist, was active in student government and on the NHHS...

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Dudley Gene Smith

Dudley Gene Smith, kindhearted Chemistry teacher at NHHS 1956-92, spent his early days in Pasadena as a star athlete...


Bob Hailey

Bob Hailey, passionate Biology teacher and coach at NHHS 1960-96, grew up in CO and graduated from CO State...


Arthur M. Worden

Arthur M. Worden, Vocational Arts expert at NHHS 1931-52, grew up in Kansas and lost a leg in a childhood accident, but...


Margot Cunningham

Margot Cunningham, meticulous and animated English teacher at NHHS 1963-98, was a top student at Long Beach...

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Betty Orbach

Betty Orbach, accomplished English instructor at NHHS 1963-88, was passionate about the arts from an early age, and...


5th Class Inductees

5th Class

The Honorable

Selim S. Franklin

The Honorable Selim S. Franklin, Class of 1947, devoted community leader, was active...


Sharon Sheeley

Sharon Sheeley, Class of 1957, groundbreaking songwriter, wrote her first hit while a student at NHHS. “Poor Little Fool”...

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Bruce Penhall

Bruce Penhall, Class of 1975, charismatic champion, got his start in racing by broadsliding his bicycle on the Newport...

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Suzanne Shriner

Suzanne Shriner, Class of 1985, multitalented global citizen, earned a BA from Claremont-McKenna College where she...

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Rolly Pulaski

Rolly Pulaski, Class of 1953, civic-minded architect, was a sports standout and the first of several generations to graduate...

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Hal Smith

Hal Smith, Class of 1944, altruistic inventor, grew up tinkering in his home workshop which set him towards a lifetime of...

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Jules Gage

Jules Gage, innovative athletic director at NHHS 1949-58, 1967-83, graduated from Hollywood High in 1940 alongside his...

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Mary Lyons

Mary Lyons, creative English teacher at NHHS 1965-82, graduated from USC with a BA in English and then established...

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6th Class Inductees

6th Class
1st Class | 2nd Class | 3rd Class | 4th Class | 5th Class | 6th Class

John Altobelli

John Altobelli, Class of 1981, standout baseball coach, excelled at NHHS as an outfielder and team captain.


Paul Le Mat

Paul Le Mat, Class of 1963, iconic Golden Globe winning actor, took photos for the NHHS Galleon and was in the senior...

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Debbe Pyle Magnusen

Debbe Pyle Magnusen, Class of 1974, devoted child advocate, attended NHHS with her five siblings and sang in the...

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Raun Thorp

Raun Thorp, Class of 1977, creative architect, wrote for the Beacon, sang in the Chantelles choir, loved the Math Club car...

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David Ullman

David Ullman, Class of 1964, championship sailor and business owner, found his passion for the ocean early and knew...

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Dr. John Vierling

Dr. John M. Vierling, Class of 1963, groundbreaking liver doctor, excelled in academics at NHHS. He was a proud Eagle...

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Bill Burge

Bill Burge, interactive Science teacher at NHHS 1969-1997, got his start on his family’s working orange grove in Tustin...

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Joe Robinson

Joe Robinson, generous Humanities teacher at NHHS 1969-2022, grew up in Costa Mesa and received his BA in...

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